Sharmila Nicollet, Jang So-young, and Sui Xiang reaffirm international appeal of the prestigious event
Three of the most sleek and chic golfers in Asia have confirmed their participation at the 2018 EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open to add to the glamour and prestige of the popular three-day tournament.
India’s Sharmila Nicollet, Jang So-young of Korea, and Chinese player Sui Xiang will join defending champion Supamas Sangchan of Thailand, and three of Hong Kong’s finest – LPGA rookie Tiffany Chan, Stephanie Ho, and teenage sensation Chloe Chan Cheuk-yee at the Hong Kong Golf Club on 11-13 May.
With a total prize fund of US$150,000, the fourth edition of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open will host a top qualify field of 120 players from 16 nations and territories across the globe.
Nicollet is enjoying an impressive 2018 season after becoming the first player from her country to qualify for China LPGA earlier, and ended her 18-month title drought to win the second leg of the 2018 Hero WPGT in February.
The 27-year-old from Bangalore has played in every edition of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open since its inauguration in 2015, and made the cut last year to finish in tied-46th place. Nicollet, who will lead a contingent of seven Indians in the field, said:
“The EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open is one of my favourite tournaments on the tour, and that is why I return year after year. It isn’t the longest of courses, and the conditions at the Old Course in Fanling suit my style pretty well. I have had one of my best starts to the year since I turned professional so I am happy with where my game is at. With Tiffany Chan, and all that she has achieved, the buzz around ladies’ golf in Hong Kong is very different now, so I am looking forward to more buzz, more fans, and more excitement than ever before at the tournament.”
Jang, who finished in tied-20th a year ago, also plays on the China LPGA Tour. The 26-year-old won her first ever title back in 2014 in Beijing, and recorded a tied-30th finish at the recent Brunei Ladies Open. The Korean added:
“I have great memories of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. I started really well last year, and just didn’t finish how I wanted to, so I was a little bit disappointed. But this is how golf works, you really need to be able to stay focus and perform consistently. You don’t need to finish top at every round to win the tournament, but you need to be consistent. But the 2018 tournament is here, it is another opportunity, and I am all ready to go.”
Sui of China is currently seventh on the 2018 China LPGA Order of Merit. The 19-year-old raising star turned professional only last year, and has already amassed 10 top-10, including two runner-up, finishes in 26 events.
Sui, who will be making her debut at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open this year, commented:
“I am looking forward to playing at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open for the first time. It is a nice time of the year to play golf in Hong Kong, and the field always has an interesting mix of competitors from season professionals from around the region, upcoming amateurs, and of course this year, we have an LPGA pro in Tiffany Chan. I am looking forward to competing against her on this beautiful golf course.”
Dean Nelson, Director of Golf at the Hong Kong Golf Club, added:
“The EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open is much more than a local event as the field this year again confirms that our tournament has international appeal. With the support of the China LPGA, Taiwan LPGA, and the Ladies Asia Golf Tour, Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association, and the Hong Kong Golf Association, we are assured of some of the top talents in the Greater China region. Sharmila, Jang, and Supamas’s confirmation to play makes it all the more exciting as our top local talents get to compete head on with these seasoned professionals. We are looking forward to a highly competitive three days next week.”
Taking place once again at the Old Course of the Hong Kong Golf Club, Lee Jeong-hwa of South Korea was the inaugural champion in 2015, while there was a home win for Chan the following year. In winning last year’s event, Supamas was flawless in the first two days, carding a total of nine birdies without a single blemish. She followed up with a strong finish on the final day with birdies on the 6th, 9th, and 10th. The total prize fund of this year’s championship is US$150,000.